The Self-Revelation of God
The Self-Revelation of God.
The Heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”
The irony is that what God reveals, man conceals. In Psalm 19, David marvels at the self-disclosure of God. In the previous Psalm, David described God as one who “Made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around him.” The imagery he portrays is the inaccessible majesty of God in which God is mysterious and unknowable to man (see also 2 Sam 22:12; 1 Kings 8:12; Job 37:22). He is so far exalted above us that there no man can understand and grasp him. Job 36:26 affirms that “God is exalted, and we do not know Him; The number of His years is unsearchable.” God is beyond our limited understanding.
How can the finite grasp the infinite? We cannot unless God communicates and reveals himself to us in ways we understand. As he gazes into heaven on a cloudless night, David suddenly has a genuine epiphany. The God who was hidden in darkness revealed himself to us in his creation (19:1-6). To look upon the expanse of space, to gaze upon the Milky Way as it arches across the sky, to look upon the radiance of the sun, is to see the self-disclosure of God. We cannot fathom him, so God revealed himself in his works. The complexity of science shouts the glory of a creative God who manifested his infinite wisdom in the laws of nature. This proclamation of God is universal in scope and crosses every language barrier.
Yet, even as he revealed his character and nature in creation, God did something even more incredible. He provided us with his written word. While space and science show God's power and infinite magnitude, he revealed himself in his word so that we might know him more deeply. He tells his moral character and nature in his law that we might walk before him without sin and guilt. He communicated his word to us so that we might fully understand who he is in all his multi-faceted glory and righteousness. The God who was hidden revealed himself to us. We think of the Bible as the story of God’s salvation. But that is only partially correct. The real purpose of the Bible is to reveal himself to us so that we might have a relationship with him. The Bible is God’s autobiography designed to unveil the darkness of his majesty that would otherwise conceal him from us.
Yet, despite the wonder of God’s self-disclosure, humanity continues to reject Him. When confronted with the radiance of his glory breaking through the darkness, we closed our eyes to hide him from us. Instead of seeing his character revealed in space and science, we rejected his revelation and attributed it to the product of the blind luck of evolution. When he revealed himself in his word, we attributed it to be the product of misguided men. We reject his word as outdated and uninspired.
In the face of such concealment, God did one more thing to enable us to know him. He descended to earth to live among us and to reveal himself fully to us. In creation, he spoke through the complexity of scientific law. In his word, he spoke to us through the words of the prophets. But in the incarnation, he spoke “to us in His son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And he is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:2-3, see also John 1:1).
The question then remains: will we reject this final revelation as well? Are we going to again conceal what he has sought to reveal? Or will we listen to God's full disclosure so that we might know him? God revealed himself to us but are we going to conceal ourselves from him?